Google My Business as a customer acquisition channel
Google My Business is a free and efficient service that lets you post information about local organizations and their affiliates on Google Maps, Google Search and other services, as well as interact with potential customers. If your company operates in a specific area, this service will help users easily find your store or office. The closer a user searches to your company, the more likely it is to find the location of your company.
The search results show the most relevant companies. A correctly completed profile helps both the system determine if your company matches the user’s request and your potential customers find your location, opening times, contacts or any other useful information, as well as the latest news. The profile will show goods and services at current prices, photos and videos, a workload schedule, questions and customer reviews.
With Google My Business you can:
- Post and manage business information on Google Maps. Add a description of your company, opening times, website, contact information, and links to social media pages.
- Post photos. Add different categories of images: exterior, interior, menu, team, 360° photo and video. According to statistics, companies that have added a photo to their profile receive 42% more routes on maps and 35% more clicks to the site.
- Interact with customers: post, reply to messages, read and respond to reviews.
- Analyze statistics, study your customers.
Where can I find Google My Business ads
1. Google Knowledge Panel
If someone uses Google Search for your business for a query containing your business name, your profile will be shown in the Google Knowledge Panel.
Google Knowledge Panel is the largest snippet that appears in the right corner of web search results and the top position on mobile when a user searches for a branded term. Such a snippet contains basic information about the organization: name, address, contact information.
2. Google Local Pack
In case of a location-bound query, your business may appear in the Google Local Pack. This is a block with local business profiles that appears in the search results below the map.
3. Google Maps
Google Maps is a free web mapping Google service. For some businesses, such as beauty salons, catering, car services, stores, it is extremely important to have a Google My Business profile. Typically, customers of such companies immediately search Google Maps, where they can easily calculate the distance, build a route, see the rating and read reviews, or make a phone call.
The probability of showing and ranking your profile depends on the following factors:
- Profile filling degree. The more complete the profile is, the more likely it is to be shown.
- Location. If a user sends a query containing a geographic name that matches the location of your company, then there is a high probability of hit the top of the search results. The location of the user also affects: the closer the user is to the point, the more likely the company profile will appear in the search results.
- Company rating and number of reviews. Google trusts user opinions and recommends highly rated profiles. But do not hurry to buy bot-generated reviews. The system recognizes inorganic actions well and can block the profile. Think about the way you can encourage customers to leave feedback about their experience with your company.
- User activity. The more guests visit your profile, i.e. read information, build routes, view photos, read reviews, the better your search engine positions.
- User interests. There is a high probability of being shown to a user who has already been interested in similar products, or is interested in the subject of your business and visits thematic sites.
- Keywords. The keywords if they are contained in the title and description of the profile increase the chances of being shown in the search results.
How to create your Google My Business profile
First check if the system has already created your profile automatically. Try searching Google Maps for a business name, address, or phone number.
If you didn’t find your company profile:
- Sign in to your Google My Business account.
- Go to the Create GMB Page.
- Fill in the required fields: enter the company name, business category, address. The selected category determines not only sections in the profile, like menus for food, product cards for stores, but also returning results at the relevant user requests. If there is a delivery service, check the corresponding checkbox.
- Choose how you want to verify company information: by phone, email, video call, or postcard.
- Get verified. Without verification, you will not be able to access statistics and reviews.
- Complete the company profile. Try to fill in as many fields as possible. Add a description containing keywords, company attributes, photos and videos, publish the latest news, promotions, discounts. Complete the profile with menu functions, goods, services, depending on the category.
- Think about how to encourage customers to leave reviews about you on Google.
If you already have your page, request rights thereto using the form.
How to optimize your Google My Business page
To make it easier for customers to find you, indicate your exact company name in your profile. It must match the title of:
- a real company;
- what is indicated on the site, in the window;
- the one known to customers.
Do not place any other additional information in the title. Otherwise the page may be blocked.
Don’t use in the title:
- Advertising slogans;
- Branch codes;
- Trademark symbols;
- Wholly capitalized words;
- Opening times;
- Phone numbers, website URLs;
- Special characters;
- Information about a product or service;
- Geographic location information;
- Information about buildings.
Use a description with a maximum of 750 characters. Tell us about your company, goals and history, services or products you offer, unique selling proposition. Post only really useful and truthful information so that users get acquainted with your company. Add keywords to the description.
3. Categories and subcategories.
Specify the category and subcategories that apply to your business. This is one of the main ranking factors for profiles in Google’s local search results. Choose the category that more correctly characterizes the activities of your company. Start typing the name of the area you work in and select the closest option from the drop-down list. Do not create new categories. If you didn’t find what you need, choose a more general one. To provide information about individual divisions or services, select additional categories. For example, if an Italian restaurant offers pizza delivery, select “Pizza Delivery” as an additional category.
Clearly indicate the location of your company and service area, add the office, floor, and building block numbers. To provide mailbox information, add a number to the address line 2. If your company provides field services, enter the service area.
Add both the main and additional links. For example, a link to a product catalog or a service registration form.
6. Opening Times.
Indicate only the hours you are available for customer service. If you have seasonal work, or would like to include changes to your opening hours during the holidays, please indicate this in the modified opening hours. You can also add services that operate only at the specified time in the “Full Opening Times” field. For example, breakfast from 7:00 to 11:00. Companies that operate without a fixed schedule or by appointment do not need to indicate their opening hours.
Post your building interior and exterior photos to make it easier to find you. Photos of the team in the process of work, photos showing your products and services. Post videos and a 360° virtual tour. Visual materials have an impact on user confidence in the company. According to statistics, profiles with more than 100 photos receive 5 times more calls.
Use Google Posts, a tool that works similar to social networks. When customers watch the company’s activities and updates, it is easier for them to make a choice in your favor.
Use this tool to
- share the latest company news;
- advertise promotions and discounts;
- invite to scheduled events;
- inform about the opening of new departments, updating the assortment or changing the opening times.
Users can see your posts:
- in the Updates or Overview tabs of your business profile in Maps and Mobile Search;
- in the By Owner section of your business profile on Maps and Desktop Search;
- on Google Business Profile web pages.
Types of posts:
- Covid19. Inform customers about the company’s activities during the Covid19 pandemic: changes in the opening times, contactless delivery, hygiene and safety in the premises.
- Offers. Notify about your promotions and sales. Be sure to include the name, the start and end date of the promotion. You can also specify a promotional code, photo, video, description, promotion conditions and links. The “View Offer” button is automatically attached to such a post.
- What’s new. Such posts contain general information about the life of the company. You can add a description, photo, video, and button. Notify customers about updating the assortment, announce a new dish, or tell about staff training.
- Events. Advertise the company’s planned events. Be sure to include the name of the event, its beginning and end. Place a description, photo, video, and button. For example, a fitness club can announce a workshop by a guest coach.
If you manage a profile of a catering or service company, use the “Menu” section. The menu should be an exhaustive list of services or products available to customers. The restaurant menu may contain the relevant sections: cuisine, drinks, breakfasts, lunches, dinners.
If you sell some goods, please complete the appropriate section. Products is a section which presents the user your assortment. To do this, you need to add a product image, price, and description.
Services are an alternative to menus and products for companies that provide a specific service. Place a list of services provided by your company in the appropriate section. The system will offer a list according to the selected category. You can also add a detailed description to each of the services.
One of the tools to attract customers through Google My Business is a Message. This feature helps businesses communicate directly with customers. If you have enabled this feature, messages will appear on your business profile and you will also receive notifications. All users with access to profile management can reply to messages. You can set up an automatic response. Importantly, turn on the messaging feature only when you can designate a person in charge of communicating with customers through messaging in Google My Business.
Do not forget about analysis. With Statistics you can access information about:
- how customers are looking for your company;
- which Google services customers find your business on;
- how they interact with the profile.
If you run a local business, Google My Business is a great customer acquisition tool. Its main advantage is that it is absolutely free. To learn more about Google My Business please contact us, we will be happy to help you get new customers.